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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Netherlands

The first feature by Shariff Nasr, El Houb, now in post-production

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- Joram Willink, of BIND, is producing the debut feature by the Dutch director, starring Fahd Larhzaoui, Lubna Azabal and Slimane Dazi

The first feature by Shariff Nasr, El Houb, now in post-production
El Houb by Shariff Nasr (© BIND)

For his first feature-length film, El Houb, Dutch director Shariff Nasr is teaming up with producer Joram Willink and his production company BIND. Willink has recently garnered significant international recognition with Steven Wouterlood’s coming-of-age film My Extraordinary Summer with Tess [+see also:
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, which he produced, and which won more than 20 awards and has had a theatrical release in 12 territories. The Amsterdam-based company is now producing this social drama about a Moroccan-Dutch family dealing with the taboo of a same-sex love affair. The main protagonist, Karim, is brave enough to tell his parents about his homosexuality, and is then confronted with his own feelings and insecurities.

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The cast sees Fahd Larhzaoui in the lead role. The Dutch theatre actor of Moroccan heritage is known for his solo shows about his experience of coming out and his appearance in TV series such as Papadag, Flikken Rotterdam and Huisje Boompje Beestje. Director Nasr co-wrote El Houb, which is inspired - amongst other things - by the story of Larhzaoui’s real-life experiences, with Philip Delmaar (Zenith, Boy 7, Daglicht [+see also:
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). Besides Larhzaoui, the film boasts a supporting cast that includes Belgian actress Lubna Azabal, who has worked with international filmmakers of the likes of Maryam Touzani in Adam [+see also:
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, Sameh Zoabi in Tel Aviv on Fire [+see also:
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]
, Ralph Fiennes in Coriolanus [+see also:
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and Denis Villeneuve in Incendies [+see also:
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. The third-most-important character in the story is played by French actor Slimane Dazi, who can look back on a long filmography, including his appearances in Tom Medina [+see also:
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by Tony Gatlif, Simple Passion [+see also:
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by Daniele Arbid and South Terminal [+see also:
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by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche.

Among the other projects being handled by the production company are the brand-new The Judgement [+see also:
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by Sander Burger and Mascot by Remy van Heughten, both presented at the Marché du Film at Cannes. In Cannes Docs, BIND also presented the feature-length documentary A Thousand Fires by Saeed Taji Farouky, about a family in Myanmar who try to build a better future for themselves by working in oil extraction. Moreover, BIND is presently developing and producing the debut by Eelko Ferwerda, Jacob's Way. The firm’s line-up thus reveals a particular area of interest for the producer: social topics and stories that inspire social change. Furthermore, the titles in the company’s repertoire have been screened at international film festivals and won a string of awards.

El Houb is a BIND production, in co-production with VPRO. It is being supported by the Netherlands Film Fund, the Netherlands Film Production Incentive, CoBO and NPO-fonds. Gusto Entertainment is due to handle distribution in the Netherlands.

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